Trash Fashion dresses designed by Trashmagination

Trash Fashion

Trash fashion is clothing made from trash or recyclable materials. In 2015, I designed two dresses for a trash fashion show, hosted by the organization Trashion Fashion. The dresses were woven from plastic bags of many colors. Since then, I have researched more about trash fashion and pulled together a collection of designs on my Trashmagination Pinterest board about trash fashion. I have learned that plastic bags are probably the most common material used in trash fashion designs, and now I am intrigued with the idea of using a more original material for a future design.

You can listen to my podcast episode about Trash Fashion in this YouTube video. It originally aired in April 2017.

Hosting a trash fashion show is a great idea for community events, especially around Earth Day. Listen to this podcast for tips on how to run a successful event. Below are resources to help.

Here’s a link to my blog about sewing a fedora from lemonade crystal powder tubes.

Weaving the bodice of a trash fashion dress

Weaving the bodice of a trash fashion dressTrashmagination Checklist – Recommendations of Activities to Try Based on this Episode

  1. Look for a Trash Fashion Show near you – These are especially popular around Earth Day.
  2. Organize a Trash Fashion Show – This is a great way to engage your kids, your students and your community.
  3. Go beyond the obvious answer – Most trash fashion outfits tend to use similar materials, but some people really expand the boundaries by finding new materials. I hope that inspires you to seek a solution that outside the obvious in some area of your life.
Nora dances with me at the trash fashion show, Family Nature Summit, July 2012
Trash fashion show, Family Nature Summit, July 2012

Materials Often Incorporated into Trash Fashion Designs


  • plastic shopping bags & mesh vegetable bags
  • CDs, DVDs, tape from video and music cassettes
  • all kinds of flexible plastic food packaging such as juice pouches and chip bags
  • six-pack rings
  • plastic caps
  • plastic bottles and cutlery
  • vinyl records
  • vinyl advertising banners and political lawn signs
  • technotrash (parts of computers and phones)
  • construction fencing and caution tape
  • photographic slides and negatives
  • small plastic toys & stuffed animals, including plastic dolls
  • lids of dried up markers
  • intravenous IV medication bottle caps
  • straws


  • bottle caps
  • metal cutlery
  • metal pull tabs from soda cans & pieces of the cans themselves cut into various shapes
  • spent shotgun shells
  • keys
  • wire (often covered with colorful plastic or rubber)
  • aluminum pans (tinfoil pans)

Paper and Cardboard

  • cardboard egg cartons and boxes
  • magazines, books, maps and newspapers
  • playing cards
  • tea bags
  • programs from theater shows that are now over
  • coffee cup insulation sleeves

Rubber and Cork

  • inner tubes from tires
  • balloons
  • hoses
  • wine corks


  • men’s ties
  • seat belts

Other Fibers

  • burlap rice bags
  • nature items like pine cones, banana peels, orange peels, dried avocado peels

Trash Fashion Shows Around the World

Australia / New Zealand

Eastern United States

Central United States

Western United States


Trash Fashion Designers

  • Kristen Alyce –,
  • Mary Ambrose and Paul Thomas –
  • Sina Basila –
  • Jacq Chorlton, Funkydory –
  • Malou Cordery –
  • Marina Debris – – featured at Smithsonian Washed Ashore project
  • FemmeGod –
  • Nic Griffin –
  • Julionne Johnson –
  • Nancy Judd from Recycle Runway –
  • Emily Kramer –
  • Outi Les Pyy –
  • Marion Macedo, Moda en Papel – Bolivian designer,
  • Katrina Orsini –
  • Valerie Pache – – made from paraglider sails
  • Francis Sollano –
  • Robin Worley –

Cool Video about Finnish trash fashion artist Outi Les Pyy

See the info about her Nespresso Dress

Show Details